Karl Toponce

  • - sean hinzman
  • - sean hinzman
  • "We are truly saddened by the news of Karl's passing. Fred..."
    - Fred Rael
  • "My deepest sympathy and condolences go to the family of..."
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  • "If there is a hereafter (be there such), I know that you..."

Toponce, Karl William

Karl William Toponce passed away peacefully at his home in the loving presence of his family in the evening of January 6th, 2017. He was born on August 15, 1946 in San Luis Obispo, California to Horace and Josephine Toponce. The second of six children, Karl left home at the age of 17 to join the Army. Later, upon enlisting with the Air Force, Karl worked as an aircraft technician on numerous jet aircraft before serving as QA Inspector and flight-line maintenance superintendent. A Vietnam Veteran, he proudly served his country for twenty years before retiring as a USAF Master Sergeant. Following his military career, Karl completed his B.S. from the University of Maryland in Business Management then worked for the Dept. of Veteran's Affairs, Regional Office in Albuquerque, NM as a computer specialist, retiring after a total of 35 years of government service.

Two months before deploying to Vietnam, Karl was introduced, and quickly proposed to, the love of his life, his wife of 47 years, Mary. As their family grew to include two daughters, Julie and Erin, he used his deployments abroad to culturally enrich their children's lives through local schooling, travels and camping all over Europe. Karl was a true family man. His wife and children were the center of his world and his every action attested to that. He remains a source of great strength, love and inspiration for his family. He was known for his "dad jokes" and ability to fix anything from computers, restoring his 1957 Willy's Jeepster, to answering any question or qualm his growing children brought to him.

Nine months ago Karl was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Despite its relentless progression, he remained optimistic with quiet resolve. His gentle and humorous nature always brought out the best in others and continued to do so into the final months of his life. Special thanks to Kindred and the VA for all of their support.

Karl is survived by his wife, Mary, his daughters, Julie (Jeff) Hinzman and Erin (Michael Gooden) Toponce. Karl is also survived by his siblings, John (Belinda) Toponce, Hoss (Mary) Toponce, Robert Toponce, and Wanda (Kent) Maw. Preceding him in death were his parents, sister, Cherie Welch, and brother-in-law Robert Maher. Also surviving are his sister-in-law and brothers in-law, Linda Neumann (Norbert), Edward Maher. He greatly cherished his grandchildren, Sean Hinzman, Eleanor Hinzman, and Colin Gooden and numerous nieces and nephews.

A memorial celebration of Karl's life will be held Friday, January 13, 2017 at the First Congregational Church, 2801 Lomas Blvd. NE at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the ALS Association or NM Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Published in Albuquerque Journal from Jan. 12 to Jan. 13, 2017
bullet ALS bullet U.S. Air Force bullet U.S. Army